By Asmau Ahmad
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Federal Government of Nigeria have developed a National Profile to strengthen Occupational Safety (OSH) and Health system in Nigeria.
Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister for State, Ministry of Labour and Employment, said this at a two-day workshop organised by the ministry and the ILO on Wednesday in Abuja.
The workshop was themed: “The Review and Validation of the Nigeria Country Profile on Occupational Safety and Health.”
Onyejeocha said that President Bola Tinubu was passionate about the protection of the labour force and the revitalisation of the economy for improved well-being of Nigerians.
She therefore underscored the need to develop a robust and comprehensive National Profile on OSH.
According to her, the primary aim of the workshop is to create a comprehensive national profile that provides the framework for the strengthening of the OSH system.
“The profile will assist in identifying the institutional tools and activities that will facilitate effective assessment.
“Also, the review of the progress and impact of Occupational Safety and Health efforts in Nigeria.
“The profile will also stimulate effective management of workplace Safety and Health in Nigeria,” she said.
Onyejeocha however said the reviewed profile constitute an inventory of all the tools and resources available for implementing and managing OSH in Nigeria.
The minister added that the profile would assist in data acquisition for record and planning purposes; and set national priorities for action and promotion of participatory OSH.
She said this would enhance economic growth of the nation in line with Priority Three of the Administration’s Development Agenda.
Mrs Onyejeocha said this would also help to ensure that the OSH management system was effective in preventing and mitigating the impact of workplace accidents, among others.
She however noted that government had recently ratified ILO Convention 187 on Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health.
She said this was aimed to promote a preventive safety and health culture at the national levels.
“This is an important step towards ensuring safe working environments nationwide through the activities of the Occupational Safety and Health Department of the ministry,” she said.
Earlier, Ms Vanessa Phala, the ILO Country Director to Nigeria, said the development of a national profile for the country was imperative.
She said the development of the profile provide an inventory of Occupational Safety and Health at all levels.
Ms Phala said this was in accordance with the different items of Recommendation 197 in the OSH promotional framework.
According to her, there are numerous dangers to which workers are exposed in the workplace.
“There is need to act together to better control the risks of industrial accidents and occupational illnesses which constitute harmful consequences on workers and their families.
“Also, on the productivity of companies and the development of the national economy,” she said.
She however said the use of the outcomes from the national profile would formulate a national OSH programme to implement the objectives of the national policy.